When my son was playing high school football, I didn’t have to look for his number to recognize him among the helmets and uniforms on the field. I could tell by the way he walked.
At one game, I pointed this out to my sister, and she said, “He moves just like you did walking off the track in high school.”
We all have our habits of action (that can escape our conscious awareness): the way we talk, the way we move, how we hold a cup, and how we wave to friends. Their origins may be physiologic, genetic or learned, but because we carry out these actions countless times, they are almost a part of us and a reflection of our personalities.
Habits of thought are much the same. They become our signature shortcuts to see our world. That’s often efficient, but it could be limiting. Periodically, it’s good to take a step back and recognize our habits of thought.
This is particularly helpful when we find ourselves falling into the same patterns of thinking that haven’t worked so far.
Ask yourself: What patterns of thoughts are just bad habits? These would be negative thoughts and assumptions that invariably set you in the wrong direction.
Examples include speaking out reactively when you’re angry or upset. You may end up saying what you don’t mean and hurting yourself or others.
What have been your preoccupations over the past year? Have they been positive? Have they been helpful?
Have you been focused on what really matters to you?
Have your habitual thoughts and preoccupations been aligned with your greatest and deepest values?
Next: Our Preoccupation with Appearance.